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What would you do to make this photo better?

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  • What would you do to make this photo better?

    The last time I was into retouching was back when Katrin Eismann published Photoshop Restoration and Retouching, and that was quite some time ago. I'm just getting back into it because a friend asked me for some help. I'm a subscriber of Adobe CC so that's what I'm working with.

    Take a look:
    http://derek.elementfx.com/aug153.jpg

    Now the problem is the photographer already retouched a lot of it. I am willing to do this for free, she is charging. So before he asks her to send him Camera RAW files, I'm going to try to show him what I can do without.

    So no, this is not Camera RAW.

    What are some things you would change about the photo? I've already straightened it.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: What would you do to make this photo better?

    You might be able to get a nicer skintone. The brighter sides of their faces appear slightly off to me. I almost want to say fill in some of that foliage, but it's easy to screw that up. The jeans shouldn't be so blue and high in contrast, because they are not the focus. They are distracting.

    I would darken the brighter regions of foliage and possibly the building elements to make the subjects stand out a bit more. I would clean up some of those wrinkles in their clothing. You have to be careful. Fold lines are normal. Some of them are ugly though. I would fix that pucker in the shirt if you can do it well. The vest should look a bit more fitted. Right now it's bulging and adding a lot of extra weight to the guy. It's also kind of bad that you can see his shirt coming out from under that vest. It's unfortunate that both of their collars look bad. You can improve them a little, but you won't be able to get it perfect. The guy in the light grey blazer has a really bright portion on his lower lip and some splotches. I would probably tone that down a bit. Make sure you still have shape there. It's just a bit extreme in this case.

    You can do a general cleanup on the background if you like. No one would miss the dead leaves or a few other things, but they're minor compared to the other stuff.

    By the way, you're probably way way way out of practice at this. As for the other guy, I guess it comes down to whether the fit and finish of his other work is up to par.

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    • #3
      Re: What would you do to make this photo better?

      What is your current employment status and in what field?

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      • #4
        Re: What would you do to make this photo better?

        Here's a quick edit. I cropped it down to reduce the file size (final cropping would depend on the use of the final image).

        I didn't do too much - a bit of contrast adjustment, a little color correction, straightening, and I filled in the hole between the men. Could do more, but what's left would depend on any specific client requests.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Re: What would you do to make this photo better?

          The image is not opening here, is it me or everybody having the same problem?

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          • #6
            Re: What would you do to make this photo better?

            Perhaps the OP has reconsidered the request and come to the conclusion that it was unreasonable due to the fact that they do not own the image rights or even the right to change the image - most likely?
            Now the problem is the photographer (who is very likely to be the COPYRIGHT holder) already retouched a lot of it. I am willing to do this for free, she is charging (which is probably correct and fair as only she has the right to alter the copyright image unless permission given stating otherwise). So before he asks her to send him Camera RAW files, I'm going to try to show him what I can do without.
            My emphasis in bold and additions in red

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